The House

The House

Before the knocking started, the night held a peaceful tone. The air smelt of her mother’s perfume, permeating the air in a beautiful dance. The temperature of the house, seventy two degrees, wrapped her in a warm envelope, cocooning her in a blanket of satisfaction. A dim light sat on a desk in the corner of the room illuminated the space, allowing a warm glow to settle.

When the knocking started, the peace disappeared, leaving a lone whisper that told of a time before. When the knocking started, the smell of perfume forced itself out of the room, a scent of cold, stale, and emptiness lingering behind. When the knocking started, the house dropped twenty degrees, ripping away her safety blanket, chilling her bones, freezing her blood. But it was not until the last knock rang out through the room like a gong, an echo in its wake, that the light went out. And once the light went out, there was nothing.

For a moment, everything stilled. The house stopped, frozen in time, silent and cold. The warm sweeping summer breeze no longer rustled the trees. The shadows stopped moving, seemingly waiting for the perfect moment to strike. Everything, every motion, every sound, and every flicker of light paused, anticipating the next move of whatever unfamiliar presence disturbed the previously serene atmosphere.

Finally, an infinity later, the silence broke with a single knock. The sound radiated throughout the house, filling her with fear. She could hear the swift rap against the dark brown mahogany wood of her front door. She could hear the slight reverberation travel through the halls, only serving to frighten her more.

In a state of distress, she waited for the next noise, something, anything to stir up the cauldron of terror that now rested inside her. She sat up in her bed, blanket wrapped tightly around her, eyes wide, hands shaking. Almost five minutes she spent debating whether to scream out her parents names. She wanted to, oh how she wanted to, but a dreadful fear consumed her. If she called out, what would happen to her? Would the mysterious stranger knocking seek her out? She refused to take a chance.

Time passed incredibly slow, the stillness making every minute impossibly longer. Seconds took hours and minutes took days, her mind a mess and head a maze. What seemed like a year later, footsteps tapped on the wooden floors, ringing out through the rooms. Too terrified to move, she stayed frozen in her bed, listening. Waiting.

The footsteps screamed through the air, loud, so loud, deafening. Her mind started racing, who is this stranger? Why are they here? The noise drowned out her thoughts, the only words left in her mind being too loud. The sound grew closer, and then closer, and closer, until the stranger was right outside her door, waiting to open, waiting to attack.

And then it went silent. Not a sound could be heard, the house returning to the state of terror. She sucked in a breath, straining to hear anything, but nothing happened. The world again paused, taunting her fear. It was the worse kind of silence, the type that chills your blood.

Knock. Knock.

This time the noise echoed through her room. The sound was inside.

Knock. Knock.

She turned her head, only to freeze at the sight.

There, inside her mirror, sat a girl, smiling and waiting, her voice a whisper.

Come with me.

And so she did.